(HealthDay News) — Parents have had to wait a long time to have access to a COVID-19 vaccine for their children under the age of 5 years, but a new survey suggests many will not get a shot for their children.
About 43 percent of those surveyed — 1847 U.S. parents of children aged 6 months to 4 years — said they would not get their children a COVID-19 shot. Another 27 percent said they were not yet certain what they will do. The results come from a Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted in July. Most of the parents in the survey said they had greater concerns about potential risks to their children from the vaccine than from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Parents of the youngest children may be the most hesitant, with only 2.8 percent getting their children vaccinated since they became eligible on June 18. That is compared to 18.5 percent of children aged 5 to 11 years who had been vaccinated by the same time in their rollout. Those children have been eligible since last October.
Reasons that parents are choosing not to vaccinate their young children vary. A majority said they found the information shared by the federal government to be confusing. But politics played a part: Republican parents were three times more likely than Democrat parents to say they would definitely not have their child vaccinated.
Others said lack of access was a significant barrier. This concern was expressed by more Black and Hispanic parents than White parents, the findings showed. About 44 percent of Black parents said they worried about taking time off work to get their children the vaccine and to care for them if they had side effects. About 45 percent of Hispanic parents surveyed expressed concern about finding a trustworthy location for the shots, while about one-third were worried about having to pay a fee for shots.
Overall, about 70 percent of those surveyed said they had not talked with their pediatricians about the vaccine, but only 27 percent of those considering the vaccine said they would make an appointment to talk about it.